What happens if you don’t really plan in advance? Sure, we all know…but it happens anyway We had not enough time to really fully explore the north island of New Zealand after spending most of the one month in the beautiful and spectacular south!
Boarding the ferry on the south island in Picton gives you some very nice views of the northern fjords…
Unfortunately the north island welcomed us with rain, rain, rain…and rain in Wellington. Initially we wanted to go back to the south as fast as possible…and that’s despite the fact, that (as we’re in the southern hemisphere) the weather in the north should have been much warmer and sunnier than in the south
Luckily we found the very well made Te Papa museum and some really nice coffee places
Our initial plan – to visit some cities on the east coast, a much less touristy region – was dropped in favour of one free day to relax in National Park (it’s the name of a village close to Tongariro national park) before doing the famous one day walk over Tongairo Crossing….
The weather forecast made us changing plans once again after arriving late in National Park and already anticipating a loooooooong sleep the next moring. This day – according to the forecast – was told to be the only “fine” one, whereas all following 3 days should be “rainy” *smiley annoyed*
Decision made: No loooong sleep, but getting up early and doing a 6 to 8 hours walk across an active volcano!
It was worth the pain of getting up early:
And the weather forecast was right…we spent the next day relaxing in our – quite luxurious – hostel while the rain didn’t even stop for some minutes outside
Rotorua is sadly enroute of many (if not all) of the tourist buses in New Zealand…so really everything is heavily commercialised and even all the hostels try to pressure you into booking some “activities you can ONLY do here” Nevertheless we visited Te Puia a (heavily commercialised…did I mention this before?) kind of Maori run historic place including a “traditional village”, some mud bubbling pools and geysers.
Next stop “hot water beach”!? Well, usually temperatures around New Zealand don’t invite for swimming in the sea…or if so, require you wearing some wet suit, if you intend to stay longer. All different on this beach! Just start digging at some spots on the beach until your own pool is deep enough for a dip…and start feeling like in some thermal bath Don’t believe us? I can assure you, even “Frostbeule” Iris wanted to stay even longer
The rest of our time on the north island, we spent in the Far North area on a farm hostel growing oranges, just relaxing – and as far as Iris is concerned going for swimming with some dolphins in the Bay of Islands.
Just on the way to our final destination in New Zealand, we stopped in world-famous town of Kawakawa. Never heard of it before? Well, we neither – and I would assume no one would ever have heard of that town, unless a guy called Hundertwasser would have considered this town to be his “Alterswohnsitz” abroad. As he seemed to be quite happy with the town as such, he decided to design his final masterpiece of building in this small town… He designed some public toilets for the city!
Additionally enroute were the oldest still living creatures in all New Zealand…some giant Kauri trees.
The outdoor action capital of New Zealand was our final stop over here…a city tour was unfortunately all we could do – next time we visit Iris already requested to do some bungee jumping, sky diving and other adrenalin rushing activities We will do it!
See you again in Sydney